Freo's View

LOW SPEED HIGH STREET FREIGHT PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2019

 

 

The High Street Upgrade Project by Mainroads is going extremely slow.  I hear roadworks won’t be starting before February next year, so one has to wonder what is holding it up.

The City of Fremantle demolished the houses and FERN two months ago, so why is this important freight project not a priority for the State Government and a project that has to advance as fast as possible?

The proposed large roundabout at the Stirling Highway and High Street intersection is designed to allow trucks to go faster and to help speed up the freight trip to Fremantle Port, so why there is a five-month pause in the construction of it is questionable.

Roel Loopers

 

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WHY THE BIKE PARKING URGENCY BEFORE LEGAL RULING?

Posted in bicycles, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 2, 2019

 

It seems rather premature that a development item is on the Fremantle Council Planning Committee agenda on Wednesday when it is still the focus of a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal by the City and State Government.

The application is for two bicycle parking structures in front of 142 High Street, just east of Kings Square, where the State Administrative Tribunal questioned if the land is actually privately owned or Crown land, and hence the matter ended up in the Supreme Court where it was judged that the land is on private land, but that ruling is now challenged.

Reportedly the City of Fremantle has already spent some $ 800,000 on the court case, but they hope to recover that should the ruling by the Court of Appeal be in their favour.

I wonder though why all parties would not wait with the planning application until the matter has been ruled in court.

The PTA is strongly objecting to the bike shelters in that location as it want it for bus stops close to Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

 

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STAMP DUTY REBATE. BUY AN APARTMENT IN FREMANTLE NOW!

 

STAMP DUTY REBATE

 

BUY AN APARTMENT IN FREMANTLE NOW!

Apartment and unit buyers will get a rebate worth up to $50,000 on eligible properties under a two-year scheme announced by the WA State Government today.

The rebate will be available for two years to any buyer who signs a pre-construction contract for a new residential unit or apartment in a multi-storey development.

Multiple rebates will be available to the same applicant and there will be no cap on the purchase price.

Roel Loopers

ABORIGINAL CENTRE UNLIKELY TO BE IN FREMANTLE

Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2019

 

The desire by Fremantle Council to build an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur’s Head is more a pipe dream than reality because the State Government wants the centre to be part of the East Perth power station development.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt prefers an Aboriginal arts and culture centre to be close to Perth, so one has to wonder why Fremantle Council insists on continuing with an expensive feasibility study when the only way the centre could be built here is with the financial backing of the state and federal governments. There is no way the City of Fremantle can afford to build the centre from ratepayers’ money only, so it’s either private sponsorship or government.

While the City is spending $ 50.000 on the feasibility study Arthur’s Head has been a total mess for nearly two years with large sections of it fenced off due to rock fall danger, so why not prioritise the stabilisation of one of our most popular tourist destinations first.

Roel Loopers

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LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO LIFT THEIR GAME

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2019

 

Local government is clearly close to our heart because statistics in the annual report of the Local Government Standards Panel show that complaints about local councils and councillors have risen significantly.

The City of Melville and the shires of Capel and Toodyay are on the top of the list for complaints about elected members.

Compared to 82 complaints the previous year the 2018/19 annual report shows 126 complaints.

I feel a bit sorry for local councillors as it is humanely impossible to please everyone, but there is absolutely no doubt either that many complaints are relevant.

Local councils need to lift their game and listen to the community, rather than paying lip service through so-called community consultation, which is often ignored when councillors make decisions, hence many of us often feel ignored and taken for granted by those we elected to represent us.

Roel Loopers

CHALLENGING FREMANTLE PORT FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2019

 

The protest yesterday by the MUA-Maritime Union of Australia in front of Minister Simone McGurk’s office in Fremantle made me wonder why the union is not engaged in finding solutions.

It is by now well known that Fremantle Port can easily handle many more containers and could remain a working port for another 20-25 years, but that the issues are with how freight gets to and from the port, so has the MUA offered any ideas on how to solve that?

Why does MUA’s Chris Cain not sit down with Fremantle Ports, the trucking and stevedore companies and try to find solutions so that they get the people in North Fremantle and near Leach highway on their side?

I am always skeptical about a layperson offering quick solutions, so my suggestions are merely meant to be the start of a discussion among the experts.

Why not demand, or even enforce, 24/7 freight on road, more after business hours movement, so that there is less congestion during the day time?

Why not encourage or enforce that trucks can not arrive empty to pick up containers, but also have to deliver on the same trip? That might require more computerised collaboration between trucking companies, but it would make freight by road more efficient and hence more cost efficient. A win win for all.

Trucks that can only transport one single container should be banned as it is inefficient and clogs up roads. Coming back from the dentist yesterday I was at a North Fremantle traffic light where I saw nine trucks coming through and all of them just carrying one container. That is silly.

More freight on rail is also helpful but there is an issue with noise and vibration for people in the west end of Fremantle, and the current line cannot handle double stacking, so growth is limited even when a new bridge is built.

Fremantle Port is one of the most efficient ports in Australia so the MUA members clearly know what they are doing, so they should put their considerable experience toward trying to make the freight part of the operation more efficient and less of a burden on the local community.

And one more word to Chris Cain and his threat that the Member for Fremantle will be gone at the next election. Do you really believe that Lisa-I should think before I speak-Harvey and Bill-I must have been absent when God handed out brains-Marmion will be more supportive of the MUA than the current government?

Simone McGurk is a very hard working and excellent minister who has some very challenging portfolios, such as child protection and domestic violence. She does not deserve the MUA threat.

I love the working port and hope it will remain for a very long time, but consideration must also be given to the residents in North Fremantle and along the road and rail freight corridors, so it is a much bigger issue than just jobs for wharfies.  The MUA should be pro-active in investigation which kind of new jobs a new port might have to offer and assist in retraining some of their members.

But there is no need for panic as a new port if built at Kwinana will be a very slow and long process, and Chris Cain will long have retired by then and I will be long dead.

Roel Loopers

MUA WANTS FREMANTLE PORT TO STAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on September 18, 2019

 

MUA 6

 

The Maritime Union of Australia-MUA protested early this morning outside the office of Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk in Fremantle’s Market Street.

The MUA is not at al happy that the state government has been investigating through the Westport Taskforce what the future of Fremantle Port will be, with the preferred option a move to a new port at Kwinana.

The loud protest heard MUA branch secretary Chris Cain warn Simone McGurk that she will be gone at the next election.

The MUA is clearly worried about wharfies losing jobs at an automated new port, but the reality is that even if the state government decides to build a very expensive new port in Cockburn Sound it will take at least 15 years for it to be realised and replace our Freo port.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO HIGH STREET UPGRADE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2019

 

High 6

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade project is one step closer to realisation with all the buildings now demolished and removed.

The Mainroads project hopes to make freigh transport to and from Fremantle Port, faster, safer and smoother, with a new large roundabout planned at the Stirling Highway intersection where many trucks have overturned in the past.

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S FISHING BOAT HARBOUR

 

The Strategic Planning and Transport Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday consider the City’s position on the Fishing Boat Harbour and probable future development in the precinct.

The Officer’s Recommendation for Councillors to consider is:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council:

1. Adopts the following as a statement of its current position in respect of the future of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour:

  1. The Council recognises the Fishing Boat Harbour as a vital part of Fremantle City Centre, both in terms of its function as an employment and activity centre and visitor destination, and is supportive of investment and appropriate new development to sustain the harbour into the future. This can be most effectively achieved through the preparation of a comprehensive up-to-date plan for the whole of the Fishing Boat Harbour to guide investment, activities and development.
  2. The harbour should be recognised as a component of the Fremantle City Centre, and as a part of the state’s marine network. It should not be treated as an isolated precinct.
  3. The harbour should continue to operate as an authentic working harbour with fishing fleet-related and other marine industries.
  4. Landside infrastructure and services to support ongoing use of the harbour by a range of commercial and recreational vessels (including boat lifting facilities with no less lifting capacity than current facilities) should be maintained, or suitably replaced if existing facilities/services are affected by development proposals. Review and redefinition of necessary infrastructure in collaboration with the fishing fleet industry should occur.
  5. Management of land uses within the harbour to minimise conflict and contain non-marine uses (such as entertainment and tourism uses) should continue. The harbour ‘zones’ defined in policy DGF10 should be used as a starting point for guiding land use locations, but with some flexibility.
  6. Any proposal to introduce noise sensitive land uses (e.g. short or long stay accommodation) should acknowledge the primacy of the working harbour function, and demonstrate provisions to manage any potential conflict (for example built form noise mitigation measures, management arrangements, title/lease notifications).
  7. Employment-generating uses not directly related to maritime industries and/or needing a harbour location should complement, not draw away, investment in the Fremantle City Centre core. Specifically, retail and office uses should only be supported where they are directly related and/or incidental to the primary marine or tourism related use. Convenience retailing should not be supported.
  1. Built form in any new development should respond to existing context and sense of place, and harmonise with the traditional low profile coarse grain industrial character of the area (whilst still making adequate provision for pedestrians and passive surveillance). Views to and connection with the water from the public realm should be provided. Some additional height beyond the typical height of existing harbour buildings could be entertained on a single key site if a development could demonstrably deliver significant public benefits and amenity in the vicinity.
  2. Any substantial new development proposal (particularly anything large scale) should be subject to formal design review (potentially by the State Design Review Panel).
  3. Coordinated improvement of the public domain to establish a more coordinated and amenable pedestrian and cycling environment is supported. Any redevelopment of the public domain should avoid a net loss of parking (incorporating nodal parking provided at the entrance).
  4. Key connections and vistas should be retained and reinforced. Connection to the Esplanade, Bathers Beach and to the waterfront should be improved and made more legible. Extension of Norfolk Street should be pursued as the primary entrance to the harbour.
  5. Establishment of public infrastructure necessary to facilitate improvement of the harbour and funding and contribution mechanisms to achieve these should occur as a priority to ensure a coordinated and equitable approach. This should involve contribution to Norfolk St extension/relocated railway crossing, public realm enhancements and waterfront access.
  6. Car parking provision and management should recognise the different needs of different harbour user groups. Day tourists and visitors to the harbour should be provided with a consolidated parking venue/s at or near the entrance/s to the harbour (potentially supported by cash in lieu payments for new development) and encouraged to walk into it rather than seek parking within the precinct. Conversely the operational requirements of marine industries and maritime activities need to be accommodated within the harbour.
  7. Any significant expansion of tourism function or introduction of residential uses should incorporate or facilitate a high quality area of open space including green elements.

2. Notes continued officer participation in the process of Fishing Boat Harbour visioning and policy review and in doing so officers will advance Council’s position outlined in (1) above.

Roel Loopers

 

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